What does privatization mean in Latin American Education


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What does privatization mean in Latin American Education

  1. 1. What does “privatization” mean in Latin American education? Cristián Bellei & Víctor Orellana Center for Advanced Research in Education & Sociology Department University of Chile cbellei@ciae.uchile.cl Comparative and International Education Society Conference CIES 2014 -Toronto, Canada – March 10-15, 2014
  2. 2. Topics to be covered on this presentation 1. Basic conceptual definitions: public vs. private education 2. Categorizing privatization policies: a working framework 3. Privatization of education in Latin America: prototypical cases 4. Privatizing education to attain EFA goals and post-2015 challenges in LA countries?
  3. 3. 1. Basic conceptual definitions: public vs. private education • Increasingly, the notions of “public” and “private” education are fuzzy; they are gradual, not categorical concepts in the current educational policy arena • All institutional education has a public nature: weakening state role in the educational system can be considered privatization • All education is private: increasing family influences in the distribution of educational opportunities can be considered privatization • Public education is provided by public schools (i.e. controlled and managed by state agencies): an increase in the proportion of students attending private schools can be considered privatization • Pursuing social objectives, public goods, is the essential reason to support public education; private education can also pursuit social objectives, but it can give priority to private objectives
  4. 4. 2. Categorizing privatization policies: a general framework • Privatization policies have been promoted for different declared objectives: accommodate cultural diversity (e.g. Catholic Church); increase quality and competitiveness; expand access • Privatization is not a single policy, but a family of educational policies • (I) Internal privatization of public education: • Private providers of public school inputs (materials and processes): infrastructure; funding; non-educational services; educational materials (including textbooks); technical-pedagogical services • Private management of public school processes: school management is transferred to private agents: What are the key school decisions? Teachers, curriculum, admission, school closure • School - families/students relationship can be privatized: school choice (market dynamic); school fee payment (private contract); school management • In all these three dimensions a public school can be internally “privatized”, while remaining formally public
  5. 5. 2. Categorizing privatization policies: a general framework • (II) Open privatization of education: • Increasing private education provision by supporting the creation, operation or expansion of private schools (i.e. reducing private costs of attending private education) • Takes the form of an “agreement” in which the state provides public resources and makes some requirements as an exchange: • Public resources for private schools: privatization policies differ in the level of resources provided; in the level of autonomy private schools have to use those resources: free disposition funding (non- categorical funds); directed funds (categorical funds); provision of materials and services; and whether for-profit providers are allowed • Public requirements for private schools: no additional requirements; more accessibility to students; regulation of educational materials and processes; defined educational outcomes • Privatization policies will be more radical if the state provides more resources, free- disposition funds, with no additional requirements, to for-profit providers
  6. 6. 3. Privatization in Latin American education: prototypical cases • Chile: radical neoliberal reform (1980s), privatization policies within a market oriented educational system: school choice; universal vouchers, equal treatment to public and private schools, both non- for-profit and for-profit schools (funding and other resources); promotion of new private schools; no additional requirement to private schools; subsidized private schools charge tuition to families; subsidized private schools can select/expel students • Colombia: PACES Program (1990s) targeted voucher to low-income students to increase secondary enrolment, for-profit providers allowed; Concession Schools (2000s) (PPP model, similar to US charter schools): a 15-years contract, in which state decides where to open schools, provides public infrastructure, select students, per- capita funding, set performance goals; non-profit private agencies manage schools with high levels of autonomy (curriculum, pedagogy, teachers)
  7. 7. 3. Privatization in Latin American education: prototypical cases • Argentina: prolonged relevant presence of private education (mainly Catholic schools) –around 30%-, serving mainly middle and upper classes; most private schools are subsidized by the state, but they are not- for-profit and receive lees resources than public schools; since 1990s, decentralization of public education transferring responsibilities from federal to provincial authorities; testing and accountability introduced; focus on quality and efficiency • Brazil: private schools account for less than 10% of enrollment (mainly upper class, Catholic), some of them receive partial state subsidies, as long as they are non-for-profit; since the mid 1990s, decentralization of public education to municipal level, efficiency, testing and accountability policies; focus on increase coverage and quality
  8. 8. 3. Privatization in Latin American education: prototypical cases • Haití: extremely low educational coverage, severe difficulties to establish a national public educational system; 80% primary education is private (relevant presence of the Catholic Church), and receive state and international subsidies, but also charge tuition to families; World Bank voucher program and other international cooperation agencies support private schools to increase access • Fé y Alegría: Catholic (Jesuit) network of schools, serving low income students; the largest private education provider in Latin America (educating about 1.5 million students in 20 countries); cooperates with public authorities in several ways, depending on the country; most of its resources come from state subsidies • Cuba: it is a counter-example, with a fully state free education, high coverage and high students’ performance; but Cuba also implements several “accountability” policies, including teacher performance evaluation, assessment instruments to schools, and corrective measures based on performance
  9. 9. 4. Privatizing education to attain EFA goals and post-2015 challenges in LA countries? • Latin American countries have implemented a wide range of educational privatization policies: • Basic promotion, and tax benefits for non-profit providers and donors • Direct subsidies (probably the most common and traditional form in LA) • Partial contracts in both non-educational support functions and educational aspects (like teacher training and textbooks) • Concession contracts for private management of public schools • Vouchers and school choice, universal, open to for-profit providers • Results?: private schooling and private spending in education are higher in LA than in OECD countries; there is no evidence of private school’s advantage in terms of academic achievement (compared to public schools); and private education has been associated with higher SES school segregation in LA • EFA challenges in Latin America: improve quality and increase equity (low SES and indigenous students), therefore, no evidence to support privatization as an educational policy priority; nevertheless, low quality public education -especially in poor areas- will continue providing arguments for those interested in expanding private education in Latin America
  10. 10. Percentage of private enrolment in primary education: 1970-2011 Source: UNESCO-UIS database
  11. 11. Private spending as a percentage of total education spending: Primary Secondary Dominican Republic 50.0 54.7 Guatemala 26.2 74.3 Peru 23.8 40.8 Chile 20.7 22.5 Colombia 18.1 21.4 Mexico 16.1 22.4 Paraguay 15.8 20.1 Argentina 6.5 8.6 Cuba 1.5 - Barbados - 2.7 Source: UNESCO-UIS database Average private spending on education : 1.2% of GDP in Latin American countries (a third higher than average private spending of 0.9% of GDP in OECD countries).